Ever since man's first appearance on this planet, eclipses have been regarded as both mystical and devine with some cultures, for example,
associating a lunar eclipse with the imminent arrival of death, war and/or famine. Although the distance of the moon and sun from earth vary
dramatically (400,000 vs 150,000,000 km, respectively), the apparent size of these two heavenly bodies is such that they give the impression
during an eclipse, solar or lunar, to be virtually identical (ie. about 30 arc-minutes in angular size). A total eclipse represents the unique
occurrence in space and time where the sun, moon and earth are perfectly aligned as three collinear points on the same orbital plane. When the
collinearity is not perfect but one of these three bodies is slightly higher or lower in the plane, we have a partial eclipse. Of course, a
solar eclipse occurs when the moon lies perfectly between the sun and the earth, thus eclipsing the solar disk. In contrast, a lunar eclipse
occurs when the earth lies between the sun and moon and, thus, the moon is hidden by the earth's shadow.
Note: Although total lunar eclipses are stunning events, partial eclipses involving the earth's penumbra are often considered non-events and not worthy of observation since the minute changes in the apparent magnitude of the moon are barely visible to the ground-based observer (if at all). However, this particular penumbral eclipse was sufficiently deep to not only allow for an event visible to the naked eye but permitted for the reconstruction of the penumbral shadow and similar to an earlier partial eclipse where the umbral shadow was captured.
The composite image below is a digital time series sequence centered on the penumbral eclipse at maximum. Furthermore, the length of each exposure was purposely kept constant from image to image so as to ensure the change in magnitude during the course of the eclipse, however slight, would be captured as accurately as possible during the time series. Finally, all images were recorded in RAW image format so that the digital camera's on-board software would not manipulate the white balance in any way and, thereby, distort the planned comparison.
Note: For the penumbral lunar eclipse at maximum as well as two alternate time series, please click here, here here.
(Start of Totality)
(End of Totality)
0.0123 x Earth
Mean Eq Diameter:
0.2719 x Earth
27d 07h 43m 11s
14d 17h 59m
Jan 10, 2020
AP 160/f7.5 StarFire EDF
AP 1200GTO/CP3 GEM
Canon EOS 700D
Baader UV/IR-Cut Filter
5 x 1/320 sec
RAW Image Format
5184x3456 image size
Digital Photo Pro V18.104.22.168
RAW to TIFF (16-bit) Conv